Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Oh Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say

I have been struggling for over a week now with my emotions. My grandma is probably in her last days here in this world. She has lived a good long life and is homesick for heaven. I know she wants to see Jesus as well as pappy and Wendy (my sister) again. I have no doubt when she enters those pearly gates, they'll be standing there right next to Jesus welcoming her to heaven with their arms open wide. I know I have been blessed to have had such a wonderful Christian woman as my grandma. I know this in my HEAD, but it doesn't stop my HEART from breaking. I'm going to miss her so much when she is gone, even though I know she'll be at peace and oh so very happy!

The other day someone was trying to help, but the person's words didn't help. In fact, they kind of hurt because it didn't feel as if they understood at all what I was going through. The person said I should feel happy because I knew grandma was going to heaven. Later I was told by this same person that I should feel blessed that I had my grandma this long because this person had lost their grandma when they were in their 20s. As I've already said, I know in my head that grandma is going to heaven, and I will be happy for her. I know in my head that I am blessed to have had her this long. Does any of that help it to hurt less? Not really. I can't turn off what my heart is feeling.

I have been through 3 miscarriages and there were 2 things that I absolutely HATED to hear: "You can have another one" and "It was God's will." I know now, as a result of going through miscarriages, that I am able to help others who are going through it. I can empathize with them because I've gone through it myself. I eventually did have a child after suffering my first miscarriage, and I had another child after suffering 2 more miscarriages. So even though those things that I hated to hear were true, they weren't what I needed or wanted to hear at that moment in time!

This morning, I was thinking about what happened last week with this person telling me how I should feel about my grandma being in her last days and I thought about writing a letter to this person letting them know how their words had hurt me. I then opened up my Bible and read Matthew 7. The very FIRST verse in that chapter says "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." Tears filled my eyes as I continued to read the first 6 verses in Matthew because I realized God was talking to me, and gently scolding me. He was about to show me something that I hadn't been thinking about. How many times have I said something hurtful to someone? I know I've said stuff when I was upset or angry that I never should have allowed myself to say. I was thinking of removing the speck from another person's eye when I had a plank in my own eye!

The title for my blog came to me very quickly. A few weeks ago, I heard the song "Slow Fade" on the radio and absolutely loved it. It is now the third song on my playlist in case you've never heard the song before or if you just want to listen to it. God reminded me this morning that I really need to be careful and think before I say something. I know I may not always know when something I say was taken the wrong way or did wind up hurting someone, but I pray that God will let me know when I've said something so I can go and apologize as soon as possible. Mostly I pray that the words that come out of my mouth are always said/used to build someone up and never tear them down, and that my words are said in love and not anger.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Cast Off

I'm sure you know as well as I do that it can be very easy to worry about stuff, especially when it is out of our control. I Peter 5: 7 says "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Isn't it awesome to know that we can take all our worries and concerns to the creator of the universe?! Some may think that the God who created the universe couldn't care less about us, but that is NOT what the Bible tells us! God LOVES us and He CARES about what we are going through and what is bothering us. He wants us to bring all our cares to Him and LEAVE THEM THERE! He doesn't want us to worry about anything. He wants us to tell Him what is bothering us so that we don't need to continue worrying about it because we know that He will take care of everything!

As I was thinking about this verse, I realized I had done just that the night before. For the past month, Micah has had a cough that just won't go away. On the good days, he only coughs first thing in the morning and when he first goes to bed. When it gets bad, he'll cough all day and all night. Sarah had a bad cough a few weeks ago that only lasted for a few days and then went away. Saturday she woke up with a persistent cough that would just not quit. Saturday night, I didn't get more than an hour or two of sleep because I could hear Sarah and Micah coughing so badly. I had already given them cough medicine so there was nothing else I could do but lie there and listen to them. My husband stayed home with both kids on Sunday because I had to be there since I was singing on the worship team. God gave me the strength to sing and praise Him in spite of how tired I was. I usually go to bed around 11 pm, but it was barely 9 pm Sunday night and I couldn't stay awake any longer. Before heading to bed, I let God know that I was extremely tired and needed to sleep tonight. As I walked up the stairs, I could hear Sarah coughing. I climbed into bed, heard her cough again, but I fell asleep shortly thereafter and slept all the way through the night! My kids are still coughing today, but I truly believe the Lord quieted their coughs last night because I told Him my concern about needing to sleep so I could function today (which I definitely needed since vacation is over and school has started again).

There may be times you feel what you are worried about seems small or insignificant, but God cares about it no matter what it is! Don't hold on to your worries and fears. Cast them off yourself and onto God. Let Him deal with them!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. I also hope the Lord blesses each of you richly this coming year. I don't usually make resolutions, but the idea of making a "resolution" came to mind on Dec. 31 as I was doing my devotions. It's been something I've been wanting to do, and I guess the Lord was letting me know to give it to Him and see what happens. So, I made a resolution to cut back on the amount of soda I drink each day...to just one can a day (instead of the 2-3 I was drinking). I know there may be days I drink more than one, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I know there's going to definitely be some testing in the weeks ahead because next weekend we have 3 birthday parties, one of which is for Sarah's 10th birthday!! The week after that is a bridal shower. Next month, we have a wedding and the following week is a party for Micah's 5th birthday! I know I'm allowed to celebrate from time to time and have an extra soda, but I'm really going to try to keep in mind that I want to succeed at this and not have an extra glass or can of soda just because "I can celebrate today and drink just one tomorrow." I know with God's help, I'll be able to keep my focus and stick to it this time because I've written it down and given this to God!

Of course, Satan also knows about this and is already trying to make me fail. It only took ONE day for me to feel the effects of cutting back on my soda intake. Yesterday I had a massive headache all day long, and I truly think it may have been a caffeine withdrawal headache! I've had them before when I tried to cut back, and I usually gave up trying because I just could not stand dealing with the headache. I refused to drink a soda like I REALLY wanted to at lunch because I was NOT going to give in so easily this time! I survived and today I felt much better. My daughter Sarah is cheering for Upwards this year and today was her first game. I kept myself busy for awhile taking pictures and talking, but then Micah said he was hungry because he saw there was a table set up with snacks on it. So I took him over to the table and bought him a juice box and some goldfish. Why am I telling you this? Because they also had cans of soda in the same cooler as the juice boxes. I actually picked one up and it was as if God quietly reminded me that I really didn't need that. It wasn't even that hard for me to put the soda back down in the ice and walk away! I definitely look forward to dinner when I do get to drink my can of soda, but I have made it 3 days now and have only had one soda each day! HURRAY!

Now since I told you I bought a digital camera and could post some pictures more often, I suppose I should let you see some pictures from our Christmas! In order to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas, we do three gifts that symbolize the three gifts the Wise Men brought to Jesus. Gold is something they want. This year Sarah got a Little Pets set (Picture #3) and Micah got an Ambulance (Picture #4). Frankincense is something they need, which is always clothes (Picture #2 shows them holding up the top of their outfits. Both Sarah and Micah got a 2-piece outfit)! Myrrh is something to build them up spiritually (Bible, video, Christian CD). This year they both got CDs (Picture #1 shows them opening/looking at their CDs). The last picture is a family picture that was taken at my parent's house. Hope you enjoy them!